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Oct
28

Do You Live in an Apartment? Know Whether You Can Access Satellite Internet Before You Buy

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Residents of condos, apartments, etc. may have certain rights to satellite Internet access depending on whether their residence is governed by a property management company, covenant or HOA. The orientation of your residence and other rules may affect whether you can access satellite Internet. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has adopted rules to protect apartment dwellers who want to install an antenna.

A section of rule known as 47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000 prohibits restrictions that forbid the installation, use, and maintenance of antennas for video programming.* This rule also states that it encompasses 2-way satellite Internet dishes.

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What Does Exclusive Use Mean?

The FCC explains that exclusive use, or the part of your property that solely belongs to you (e.g., balcony, terrace, deck, or patio), is protected under this rule, which means you can buy satellite Internet and install an Internet satellite in your exclusive-use area. It only because you do not have to share this area with other residents that may live in your building that you may install an Internet satellite antenna in these areas.

You may question exclusive use since your management company or association can enter your unit for inspections and repairs and because they can restrict other things in that exclusive area, such as barbecue grills and flags. But according to the FCC that doesn’t matter. Your patio or deck attached to your unit is exclusive. You can install a satellite dish on your deck or patio and take advantage of high speed satellite Internet availability.

What is Considered a Common Area?

Satellite dishes cannot be placed in common areas, such as walkways, roofs, etc. Drilling holes in shared or exterior walls is also prohibited. These areas and walls are considered common areas. Last, the rule does not cover an installation that “extends out beyond the balcony or patio is usually considered to be in a common area…” You’ll need to make sure that you keep your high-speed Internet satellite installation only in your exclusive use areas.

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South Facing Direction

No matter what the rules and FCC polices state, your exclusive-use property must face south to access high-speed satellite Internet. The satellite dish must face south where the orbiting satellite rests 22,000 miles above the equator.
*http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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